Letting Them by Ken Brimhall


An epidemic of indolence threatens to engulf a Texas high school.  Two geezer teachers, Calvin Sizemore and Emir Rubio, battle to survive.  They face drug abuse, gang violence, teenage pregnancy, inept administrators—but most of all, the freeloading mojo and moja students who overrun the school.  When the ’jos and ’jas refuse to prep for college, Rubio and Sizemore tell them to prep for jail by working out and learning to read, but their ridicule fails, due to the school’s disgraceful state and their absurd attempts to remain coherent.  The outcome is far from what they expect.

What inspired you to write this book?

Frustration.  I kept reading the newspapers, watching TV shows, talking with leaders in the community, and no one seemed to have a clue why schools were failing.


What will happen if parents and the state fail to recognize drug abuse, gang violence and teenage pregnancy as an epidemic?

We will decay from within.  Crime will grow.  Common decency will decline.  Respect for one another disappear.


What is your personal opinion?

In many cases, drug abuse, gang violence and teenage pregnancy are symptoms of a much greater problem: ennui.  Students not only are bored, they are spiritually empty.  They have lost their souls.



Books about ghosts, vampires and teenage slaughter won’t help.  Young people need something to believe in: religion, human rights, something.  Schools need to stop letting students freeload.  Here is where the ennui manifests itself.  Engage these students.  Put pressure on them.  Use disciplinary channels, if necessary.  Do something as early as possible, even when the child is in kindergarten.  Don’t wait until all the student cares about are cheap thrills and entertainment.